First Georgian Translation of Latvian Book
07 March, 2013
On March 4, at Latvian Embassy, the presentation of the first Georgian translation of Latvian book titled “Modern Latvian Short Prose” took place.
“Today, we’ll talk in two languages – Georgian and Latvian. These are really distinguished authors. The translation is good and the translator is rather modest; censequently we accidently discovered the fact that the Latvian book was translated. We organized this presentation because on March 11, Georgia will be celebrating the 20th anniversary of establishing diplomatic ties with
Latvia,” Ms. Elita Gavele, Ambassador of Latvia declared.
The thought occurred to translator Maya Gogoladze in Ventspils. Being a journalist by profession, she was studying there. Khatuna Maisashvili, the publisher said: “This translation is important for subjective as well as objective reasons: firstly, because these writers belong to our generation. Secondly, translation is a universal means of co-relation between the cultures. Through the translation in question, the Latvian consciousness is transmitted to the Georgian reader in the best way. This book is the great result of cooperation of 6 Latvian writers and 1 Georgian writer. In Latvia, young generation is facing the painful process of appreciating its national identity, like Georgian writers did in 1990s. This was the main issue that we thought would make this book attractive for Georgian readers. Crisis is a bad thing for the country, but it is a challenging occasion for the literature as a wealth of transforming the contemporary society. I will be very happy if the book attracts many readers. “
Reportedly, some copies will be sent to the authors in Latvia.
300 copies of book “Modern Latvian Short Prose” were printed. Ms. Ambassador read one of the stories in Latvian and later on, a Georgian-born girl of Latvian origins read it in Georgian. Out of 9 stories, Nora Ikstena’s Nadka was chosen. It is about an ugly woman, a bitter victim of total neglect on the part of the opposite sex; life seems senseless to her and urged by despair, she becomes a prostitute, thanking God that He has given her life “a sense”. The story fills the reader with ambivalent feelings – sadness, aversion, irony and pity, but is so full of humor that it is hard not to giggle, while you read it. Laughter was frequently heard in the presentation hall. The translation was perfectly adequate. All authors but one are women; majority of them were born in 1960s. Author Nora Ikstena was awarded as the best author of 2001 by Latvian Literary Prize. Her works are translated into all major European languages. She is one of the founders of Latvian Literature Center.
It was a pleasant environment when a lot of local Latvians – members of the Latvian Community, got together as the best example of close links between the two countries. Reportedly, as Ms. Regina Iakobidze (her spouse’s surname), former Honorary Consul of Latvia told us, the oldest Latvian person is a 104-year-old lady. The Latvians, who live in Georgia, are the descendants of the immigrants who arrived here after the Second World War. They are assimilated with Georgians and their grandchildren speak three languages fluently – Georgian, Russian and Latvian.